Unit of competency details

SISOKYK302A - Apply kayaking skills (Release 2)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SISOKYK002 - Paddle a kayak on moving water up to grade 1 riversNot equivalent. Title changed. Water grade and conditions clarified in title and throughout unit. Performing deep water rescues included. Unit now focuses on activity skills rather than planning; planning removed. Planning skills for leaders covered in SISOPLN001, SISOPLN002, SISOPLN004 & SISOPLN005. Significant changes to performance criteria and knowledge evidence. 10/Sep/2019
Supersedes and is equivalent to SROKYK002A - Demonstrate simple kayaking skills to a high standardE Updated and equivalent to SROKYK002A Demonstrate simple kayaking skills to a high standard 06/Jun/2011

ReleaseRelease date
2 (this release) 28/Nov/2011
(View details for release 1) 07/Jun/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 092101 Sport And Recreation Activities  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 092101 Sport And Recreation Activities  18/Nov/2011 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to paddle a kayak in controlled conditions. This unit focuses on the demonstration of kayaking skills to a high standard of technical correctness.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to those working as assistant river kayaking instructors or support staff under supervision in a range of controlled conditions.

This unit may also apply to leaders working for outdoor education or adventure providers; volunteer groups; not-for-profit organisations or government agencies.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

No licensing, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.



Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the Evidence Guide.

1. Plan for a kayaking activity.

1.1. Identify food and water requirements  according to principles of nutrition  and the conditions of the activity .

1.2. Identify an appropriate activity site  and course to take according to relevant legislation  and organisational policies and procedures .

1.3. Access relevant sources  to interpret weather and environmental information .

1.4. Identify potential hazards  associated with the activity and minimise risks  as advised by the supervisor.

2. Select equipment.

2.1. Select craft  and equipment  according to contextual issues  and check to ensure that it is in good working condition.

2.2. Fit and adjust equipment to ensure comfort, safety and suitability to the participant and kayak.

2.3. Select personal clothing for the activity and identify the design and or construction features that make it appropriate.

2.4. Waterproof and pack equipment that is not required on hand and stow or fasten in a suitable manner.

2.5. Prepare equipment, where required, for safe transportation to activity location.

3. Apply control and manoeuvring techniques.

3.1. Embark and disembark the kayak while maintaining stability.

3.2. Direct the kayak in a controlled manner.

3.3. Apply efficient stroke technique  while directing the kayak, using the rudder if fitted.

3.4. Apply navigation skills to determine location and follow planned course during the activity.

4. Apply capsize procedures.

4.1. Exit the kayak in a controlled manner, and recover paddles and other equipment, following a capsize.

4.2. Manoeuvre the upturned kayak to shore or to rescue craft and empty out water, with assistance if required.

4.3. Demonstrate deep water re-entry techniques or take the kayak ashore.

5. Secure kayak.

5.1. Secure the kayak to the bank, shore or jetty.

5.2. Secure the kayak, where appropriate, for road transport using suitable methods.

6. Evaluate the kayaking activity.

6.1. Evaluate relevant aspects  of the kayaking activity.

6.2. Identify improvements for future kayaking experiences.

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • teamwork skills to work with others to lift, carry and secure kayaks safely
  • communication skills to interact with supervisor, other participants and rescue crew to maintain a positive and safe environment
  • listening skills to follow instructions and directions from the supervisor and rescue crew
  • problem-solving skills to navigate, determine location and follow a planned course
  • planning and organising skills to select and allocate relevant kayaking equipment
  • swimming skills to swim 50 metres whilst clothed and wearing a personal flotation device type 2 approved to relevant Australian and or International Standards
  • first aid and emergency response skills appropriate to the location to enable initial response to emergencies and personal health care.

Required knowledge 

  • legislation and organisational policies and procedures to enable the safe conduct of all kayaking activities
  • types of craft and equipment, characteristics and technology used for kayaking, the advantages and disadvantages of the range of craft and equipment, and factors affecting appropriate selection
  • clothing requirements for kayaking, such as wet weather gear to maintain warmth and dryness or sun protection to minimise sunburn and heat stroke
  • importance of a personal flotation device in keeping a person afloat and their head above water
  • stroke and directing techniques to control and manoeuvre the kayak to a high standard
  • navigation techniques to determine location and direction
  • principles of nutrition to maintain health during activity
  • application of basic weather and environmental information to ascertain possible conditions and their affect on the activity
  • purpose and importance of safety features of craft
  • emergency and rescue procedures appropriate for the craft and location to ensure risk minimisation to self and group.

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • applies relevant process to plan equipment and supply requirements according to the conditions and duration of the kayaking activity
  • paddles the kayak to a high standard, demonstrating efficient and clean strokes and manoeuvres while maintaining control of the kayak at all times
  • applies capsizing technique and follows rescue procedures to prepare for emergency situations
  • evaluates and reflects on own kayaking performance to identify strengths and weaknesses and areas that need improvement.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure participation in multiple kayaking activities in controlled conditions to demonstrate competency and consistency of performance.

Assessment must also ensure access to:

  • resources and information, such as weather sources, to plan and select equipment for the kayaking activity
  • a suitable body of water, such as a river or lake with sheltered calm waters, minimal wind and water flow, and easy access to shore
  • kayaking, navigating, safety and rescue equipment
  • a suitable and safe method of transport, if required to drive kayak to and from activity location.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • oral and or written questioning to assess knowledge of relevant legislation and organisational policies and procedures to enable safe conduct of all kayaking activities
  • observation of safe participation and demonstration of all strokes and manoeuvres while maintaining control of the kayak at all times
  • written and or verbal self evaluation
  • third-party reports from a supervisor detailing performance.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • SISOCNE202A Perform deep water rescues.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Food and water requirements  may include:

  • menu planning and preparation
  • range of foods.

Principles of nutrition  may include:

  • food groups
  • dietary guidelines
  • individual food requirements and allergies.

Conditions  may include:

  • sheltered calm waters
  • minimal wind
  • ease of access to shore
  • minimal flow of water.

Activity site  may include:

  • rivers
  • lakes.

Relevant legislation  may include:

  • occupational health and safety
  • permits or permission for access
  • environmental regulations
  • marine regulations.

Organisational policies and procedures  may include:

  • occupational health and safety
  • use and maintenance of equipment
  • communication protocols
  • emergency procedures
  • code of ethics.

Relevant sources  may include:

  • Bureau of Meteorology
  • media
  • land managers or agencies
  • coastal patrol or coastguard
  • volunteer marine rescue
  • local knowledge.

Weather and environmental information  may include:

  • satellite images
  • daily and weekly forecasts
  • maximum and minimum temperatures
  • weather warnings
  • event warnings
  • river levels
  • synoptic charts
  • high and low tide predictions.

Hazards  may include:

  • temperature extremes
  • slippery or unstable terrain
  • dangerous animals and insects
  • stinging trees and nettles
  • dense vegetation
  • group management hazards.

Risks  may include:

  • hypothermia
  • heat exhaustion
  • injuries
  • exhaustion
  • lost party or party member
  • equipment and course failure.

Craft  may include:

  • closed and open kayaks
  • estuary kayaks
  • double kayaks.

Equipment  may include:

  • personal flotation device
  • paddle
  • spray deck
  • wet suit or wet weather gear
  • ropes or tie down straps
  • navigation equipment
  • safety and first aid equipment.

Contextual issues  may include:

  • weather conditions, including times
  • season
  • transport
  • location
  • trip distance and duration
  • group objectives
  • group size

Stroke technique  may include:

  • hand placement on paddle
  • blade placement
  • paddle depth in water
  • paddle blade angle throughout stroke
  • paddle entry and exit points
  • use of trunk rotation
  • lean or edge of the craft
  • smooth transfer between different strokes.

Relevant aspects  may include:

  • objectives
  • planning process
  • activity site
  • weather
  • equipment selection
  • clothing selection
  • food selection
  • instructional content
  • instructional technique
  • assessment technique
  • group feedback
  • directing techniques
  • rescue techniques employed.

Unit Sector(s)

Outdoor Recreation

Competency Field